31 Mar

Do I walk too fast?

Okay, here’s where this is coming from. I am a fast walker. I walk With Purpose. I am On A Mission. I am the woman whose quiet and impatient sigh you hear as you and your jogging partner are do-dicking around and taking up the whole sidewalk in front of me. I could win an Ultimate Fastwalking Championship, if it came down to that. And today, it occurred to me that this might be a serious impediment to my new hobby.

You see, over the weekend, in a burst of tax-refund-fueled impulse, I ordered myself my first real, grownup camera. And I am so excited! So excited, in fact, that I even signed up for an e-course that I’m hoping will (1) give me some instruction in this extremely new-to-me art form, and (2) keep me motivated through that tough stage of a new hobby, where you’re inevitably a bit disappointed that your very first efforts aren’t in any way comparable to those of the professionals in the field (surprise!).

There’s a third part that piqued my interest in this class, though, and here’s where my speed-walking comes in. Here’s what Tracey highlighted as her intention for the course: ‘The goal with Picture Spring however, is to not only prompt you into taking a photo each day, it’s to help elevate that click into a mindful meditation, an act of gratitude, a narrative of your heart.’ Um, not entirely sure what that’s going to entail, but I’m pretty sure I’m gonna have to stop walking so stinkin’ fast. I have the feeling this is going to be kind of an uncomfortable space for me, at least at first. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am mindful when I’m walking around the neighborhood. I’m taking in the houses (the houses, I love the houses in my neighborhood), looking for the first shoots of flowers coming up, trying to greet passers-by (oh, that’s a whole other story, for a different day). But stopping? And really looking?

Hm. I suppose this might be why I was drawn to the camera in the first place.

This post started out on a different site, but in an effort to get more of my writing in one place, I moved it to cindyscovel.com in January 2012.

29 Mar

Sublime Stitching

How fun is this website? It is all I can do not to order up La Petite Embroidery Kit right this minute, but then, right this minute, I am anxiously awaiting the mail delivery of my first DSLR, and I am feeling a bit overloaded on spring projects. (Plus, I can’t decide between the campout transfers and Craftopia. Oh! And I will need Lucha Libre on my second trip.) I will also be picking up this book at some point in the near future. I promise, I’m not a Jenny Hart stalker! I just stumbled onto the site today during a particularly enthralling portion of my cubicle afternoon, and the creative vibes totally picked me up. I’ll let you know how it goes when I commit to the purchase…

This post started out on a different site, but in an effort to get more of my writing in one place, I moved it to cindyscovel.com in January 2012.

28 Mar

Job Suckage, Days 1 & 2

(Obviously, we’re using “day” loosely here.) I did actually get started on the Challenge in January; I got my perfect day down on paper. I don’t mind sayin’: it felt good just to get that part nailed down, and to tell you the truth, the calm that came out of getting some clarity on what’s really important to me was probably what stopped me from moving on to the next step. The worry didn’t seem so urgent after that.

Still, I would like to move on to actually bringing that life into existence, plus at this point the calm has completely evaporated and left in its place the awful and entirely irrational worry that oh my god this is all there is and I’m going to be doing this for the rest of my life if I don’t head into my boss’s office and quit right this minute.

Right. So. I’m leaving off the story, for now at least. It’s a good one, but rather long, and probably something I would post if I could figure out how to do that thing with your webpage where you can truncate the entries to, like, five lines and people can click to Read More… if they’re really that enthralled with the perfect day of a total stranger. For now, I’m keeping it to my prioritized list of 10 qualities or feelings that stand out from my perfect day.

On this day, I feel or have:
1. well-rested and healthy.
2. balance: enough time to write, cook, work out, plus some social/family time.
3. engaged: I’m interested in what I do for a living.
4. valued.
5. clear goals or intentions.
6. energized.
7. tired at the end. (I know, sort of in contrast to feeling energized. It’s a good tired, though – that feeling of having worked really hard and accomplished something that has meaning.)
8. little stress.
9. respected.
10. successful. (And… what does that mean? Still workin’ on it…)

This post started out on a different site, but in an effort to get more of my writing in one place, I moved it to cindyscovel.com in January 2012.

26 Mar

The Girls Are In Charge

“All I’m saying is, when boys are writing the stories, the percentage of strippers is bound to go up. And real stories about real women kinda don’t get written at all.” {Katherine Center}

So, I’m accomplishing a couple of things here. One: I just embedded a movie on my blog (woo! OMG, seriously, I know it is so simple, but this is by far the most technologically savvy thing I have ever done EVER). Two: props to Katherine Center for creating this awesome and inspiring little short – who knew a commercial could make you feel so empowered? And three: giving myself easy access to these words I need easy access to. I first saw this video over at Ordinary Courage while I was on vacation in January, and wrote out the stripper piece in my journal – you know, for safekeeping. I found those words again when I was re-reading last night (looking back for my Job Suckage notes), then spent 15 minutes this evening trying to find the clip again (this is why people have weblogs, after all, isn’t it?). (By the way, am I the only person who thinks “a couple” refers to two or three? I believe this is a Midwestern thing, as people in Texas will certainly argue with me that it means two. Just two.)

In conjunction with the journal-reading last night, this article showed up on Marketplace this evening, and everything felt very coincidental, forcing me to stay up past my bedtime searching for Kirtsy commercials and writing a blog post. I’m sure there’s more to be written here about What It All Means (To Me), but (in the words of Will’s girlfriend, Skylar) I’m tired now and I have to go home.

Whew, I’m awfully link-y tonight, guess that youtube situation really learned me.

This post started out on a different site, but in an effort to get more of my writing in one place, I moved it to cindyscovel.com in January 2012.

23 Mar

Job Suckage

Did I give up on the Stop the Job Suckage Challenge? Me? How could I have forgotten about this? How on earth could I have forgotten, sitting here, as I am, armpit deep in the suck? (Today has been a particularly wallow-ful day; I’m certain that’s what drew me back to the Challenge, and what got me back over here to take some action.)

Here’s what happened: I took a vacation at the end of January. I knew I’d have a fair amount of quiet time, time to sit in the sun in my most favoritest of all places (home, after all), and get really clear on where I was going to go next. And I did – I sat in the sun and wrote out my perfect day. And after that, the safety and comfort and sunshine of this place made its way into my heart and my bones, and I didn’t feel so upset about things anymore. And then I forgot about the Challenge.

How I didn’t remember immediately upon returning, I don’t know. I think I spent February thinking I would need to pack up at a moment’s notice (having something to look forward to is such a powerful mood elevator). And over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been sinking and sinking, and now it feels like I’m in it deeper than ever. The Suck.

So! An assignment! Someplace to redirect this energy, and hopefully, get moving in the right direction. Dig out. So I’m three months late. No better time for a fresh start than spring, after all.

This post started out on a different site, but in an effort to get more of my writing in one place, I moved it to cindyscovel.com in January 2012.

19 Mar

Okay, stop.

Okay, stop. Enough of the list making, the constant comparing of this place to that place, the endless row of tick marks under “Con”. I’ve been in limbo for so long over whether to stay here or move there that I think the list has truly become a habit. But I’ve made the decision now. I shouldn’t need the list anymore.

One, because I need to stop holding the door open, covering all bases, making sure I won’t really lose – I need to stop telling people that I’ve put the house on the market but we’ll see nothing’s set in stone who knows what will happen in this market. Sometimes I even add, maybe I’m meant to stay here and in that case I suppose the house won’t sell. Well, that may very well be and I can worry about that when I get there. But today, I have decided I’m moving away and I am doing everything in my power to make that happen.

Secondly – and really, more importantly – I need to stop gathering support for this decision as if it’s not something I’m convinced of myself. Another $400 for the mechanic because I put 20,000 miles on my car this year. Four days have passed since my last real, in-person conversation. God, it’s cold. I haven’t had sex in x years for goodness’ sakes. (I’ll leave that one to the imagination, but let’s note that it is measured in years. With an ‘s’.) What am I doing at this job? Almost everyone I know here is married; almost everyone I know there is single. Men don’t even know how to buy a girl a drink around here. … Alright already! We get it! You don’t like it here! So move.

I know how this started, and I needed it – for a time. I needed to go through my logic checks, make the list so that I could know I’d given it a fair shake, that I wouldn’t leave just because it was too hard. But I don’t need it anymore. Last night I re-read a journal entry I’d made almost two years ago. Notes really, from some time I’d spent with a therapist in Dallas. I wrote, ‘It’s normal to feel “bad” when in limbo – the longer it drags on, the more certain depression is’. Huh. Well, if that ain’t the truth. My limbo has dragged on for far too long. In some ways it’s still around – there are, after all, some things that are out of my control, and I’m doing my best to be patient with them. But I have (finally, finally) made a decision, and that is cause for celebration. Those lists no longer serve me, and it’s time to put all of the minuses for this town to rest. Focus on the next big thing. Get ready for what’s to come. Clear out all of this clutter and make room for all of the good stuff to move in. (And man, the good stuff had better weigh less than the bad, ‘cause I’m starting to worry about moving all of this stuff down the stairs.)

This post started out on a different site, but in an effort to get more of my writing in one place, I moved it to cindyscovel.com in January 2012.

13 Mar

Remember? You can do this.

I’d say I wish I’d found her sooner, but I think today was the day we were meant to meet – just read The Word Cellar‘s current post, and I am hooked. These are words to live by, especially for someone who’s just starting to find her own voice. What are you waiting for? Go read her!

This post started out on a different site, but in an effort to get more of my writing in one place, I moved it to cindyscovel.com in January 2012.

13 Mar

Friday

Friday is my favorite, I think. Not that it has a lot of stiff competition these days. But still, it’s got something special. Not because of the concert at Lincoln Hall. No new restaurant to check out, no friends to meet at happy hour. No. Pajamas are on at 6:30. Something delicious is on the stove. Not anything complicated. Tonight it was good pasta with broccoli and olive oil. Some parmesan, lots of pepper. Something that’s already waiting in the cupboard; no shopping, but time enough to cook. The ipod sits inside its little kitchen speaker, the speaker purchased years ago to fill in a lonely space not unlike this one. Time to sit, sip a good glass of gin, enjoy the music. Ray LaMontagne this time, maybe Sam Cooke next week. This space feels comfortable. Friday is no work in the morning. Friday is okay to skip the gym, if you don’t want to go. And it’s not yet lonely; it’s okay to sit here in the kitchen, with the gin and the pasta, in pajamas at 6:30. Unlike Saturday. Saturday is the worst sometimes.

This post started out on a different site, but in an effort to get more of my writing in one place, I moved it to cindyscovel.com in January 2012.

10 Mar

I am worthy.

Yesterday, Brene Brown (of Ordinary Courage) kicked off a writing prompt on self-worth in support of her new DVD, and she asked her readers to add a link to their own blog entries on the topic. Seemed like reason enough to sit down and write. For those of you just joining from that link: welcome! Please visit often! I promise the house will be cleaner next time ;)

I am worthy of love and belonging now.  Is that true?  Intellectually, I know that I have to say that I believe it.  If I say otherwise, people will be too kind and comforting.  You can hear their collective sigh, and feel their rush to interrupt and argue before I’m even finished with my sentence.  “Ohhh, how can you say that?  You’re beautiful and strong.  We love you.”  I would listen, and think, well, this is why I don’t say things like that out loud.

Last night, our Kundalini practice was focused on positive energy.  During meditation, our yoga teacher told us, “the world needs who you are.”  (How’s that for coincidence?) Our meditation started with some visualization: tap into what makes you, you – as you breathe in, imagine yourself expanding into that space, creating light all around you. I sat there in gyan mudra, legs crossed, fingers outstretched, focusing on my third eye, and worrying.  I couldn’t come up with what it was that I brought to the world anymore.  I used to know who I was – confident, smart, funny, articulate.  I brought those images to mind, struggling to make them expand the light around me… and the light just wouldn’t stay on.  Instead of the warm, glowing comfort of the sun, I got that awful flickering of the fluorescent bulb in the closet.  Those images of my “worthy” self just seemed so far away, left in the past.

So here I was, still meditating, failing at even that, since I certainly wasn’t bringing any positive energy into my space.  And that’s what it’s like to be in my current mental traffic circle (“look kids… Big Ben… Parliament…”). I worry over who I’ve become. I remind myself that I’m being too hard on myself, to stop being such a perfectionist. Then the fear starts to build because what if I can’t stop being a perfectionist? And then I worry over who I’ve become… I know this sense of worthiness has to come from within. It was just so much easier when I was surrounded by external validation. Or maybe… wait. That’s not what I mean. It’s not that the praise and reassurance have disappeared; it’s that lately I want to argue with it. Where I am today is not where I want to be. I know that confidence, intelligence, and wit are still inside, but I’m not showing that to the world these days. I’m not where I want to be, and there’s pain in that, but if I let that struggle go… what will I become?

The up side of all this (because there must be an upside, you can’t have read this far only to be knee-deep in self-loathing): I do know that growth and compassion will come from this time. And of course, I fear that this is not at all what Brene had in mind when she asked for pieces on worthiness. But this is what’s true. Intellectually, I know that I have to say I believe I am worthy. But the actual belief – well, hopefully that comes back to me real soon.

This post started out on a different site, but in an effort to get more of my writing in one place, I moved it to cindyscovel.com in January 2012.